Sony announced today that they’ll be discontinuing the online services for some of their more unpopular online titles, including SOCOM 4, SOCOM: Confrontation, and MAG.
While the SOCOM series was one of the most popular competitive multiplayer games on the PS2, the series never really found much traction during this generation, so it’s not surprising that Sony is shutting the SOCOM 4 servers down. SOCOM 4 had the unfortunate timing of launching the day before the infamous PSN security breach of 2012, which took down the system’s online network for nearly a month. SOCOM’s developer, Zipper Interactive, was shuttered last year as part of Sony’s restructuring and cost cutting efforts.
MAG, the so-called “Massive Action Game,” will also be offlined in a few months. While the game sold an impressive half a million copies during its first month (mostly due to the hype surrounding its 256 player “Domination” mode,) sales for the game quickly tapered off as players quit following complaints about the game’s balance (one of the game’s three factions had a distinct advantage over the other three, a problem which only became more pronounced as players jumped ship over to the winning side.) Unlike SOCOM, MAG does not feature a single player mode, so once its servers go down, the game will be pretty much unplayable. MAG was also developed by Zipper Interactive.
If you were one of the twelve people who still played these games regularly, you have a few months left to say goodbye to your SOCOM squad or your MAG character before Sony takes the servers offline next January. It’s a shame that these games were never able to attract an audience (or be successful enough to keep Zipper in business,) but there’s definitely no shortage of great multiplayer shooters this generation, so it was always hard to recommend these games over their more polished competition. Since Zipper Interactive is gone, it’s safe to assume that we won’t be seeing anymore of the SOCOM franchise anytime soon, so if you want to experience the series’ brand of squad based shooting one last time, you might as well play it now while you still can.
(P.S. PS3 owners out there looking for a quality multiplayer experience — give Starhawk a try. It’s a really underrated game that offers a really unique and interesting take on the usual multiplayer shooter formula, and it’s a damn shame that nobody is playing it online anymore.)